Tips to Prepare Your Apartment
From flooding to earthquakes to tornadoes, and everything in between, natural disasters are on the rise in the United States over the past few years. While most homeowners will have some sort of plan in case of an emergency such as these, it’s commonly overlooked by renters, particularly if you happen to be in an apartment rental and could assume that your landlord or management company will take care of the details for you. While yes, they likely have a plan in place to protect the property, you should have one as well to protect yourself and your important belongings. Here are a few easy ways to prepare your apartment for a natural disaster.
Stock up on Supplies
Whether or not a storm is imminent, it never hurts to make sure that your apartment rental is ready just in case. Create a storm kit that includes flashlights, extra batteries, tools, first aid supplies, blankets, and enough food and water to last for 3-4 days per occupant.
Make sure that you’ve spoken to your landlord to understand what, if any, responsibilities you do have to get your apartment rental ready for a storm. In the event of a hurricane, for example, does your unit provide storm shutters? Will you be required to shut off water and gas lines in the event of damage to the building or will there be somebody on-site to worry about those things?
Depending on what type of natural disaster you might be in danger of facing, it could be helpful to secure heavy furniture and appliances to help prevent them from moving around during, for example, an earthquake. Furniture can also be used to barricade doors to help create a safe room.
Move Things Inside
If you know there is a storm of any kind coming, don’t wait until the last minute to start bringing your stuff inside. The right time to prepare your apartment for any type of storm is before it hits!
Keeping all of the important documents in your apartment rental in a safe place will help to ensure that you will have everything you need in the event that you have to get up and leave your space unexpectedly. Store your important paperwork in a waterproof case. Make sure that you include your birth certificate, marriage certificate, wills, financial paperwork, social security cards, passports, and anything else you deem important.
Finances in Order
After a storm, there’s a good chance that roads may be hazardous and unpassable or that lack of electricity will prevent banks from re-opening quickly. To prepare for this, make sure that you get your finances in order prior to a storms arrival. If your area has a “storm season”, it might be helpful to have a stash of cash that you keep on premises just case.
Having a radio in your apartment rental is imperative during a storm. While many other media outlets will likely go in and out of service (televisions, smart phones, etc.), the radio is a reliable source that will help you keep up to date with what is happening and any extra precautions you may need to take.
Having a plan in place for your pet is just as important as having a plan for yourself. If your furry friend cohabitates with you, you might want to consider whether your apartment rental will be big enough for the both of you to ride out severe weather. If it is, you’ll want to make sure you have enough food and water for them as well.
In the event that a natural disaster takes a nasty turn, it’s important to have a designated safe room in your apartment rental. Typically, the safest place to be in the event of severe weather will be in your bathtub with a mattress pulled over you. This will help to protect you from any debris that may fall.
Know the proper evacuation route to take in the event that severe weather warrants you having to leave your apartment.
The last of our tips to prepare your apartment is regarding insurance. If you don’t have a renter’s insurance policy that covers damage done to your personal belongings due to a natural disaster, now might be a great time to consider it. Renter’s insurance is super cheap and can be extremely helpful in situations such as this. Make sure to read through the terms of your policy carefully!
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